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Autumn Angling 101: Play the Lees, Fish More Days

Falls fly by. Storms line up like planes in a landing queue, and pummel us in rapid succession. Between easterly blows—the hurricane remnants and the nor’easters—winds gust out of the northwest as cold fronts sweep down from Canada. In an average week, there’s plenty of wind from all the points of the compass rose. Before you know it, you’re looking at the second half of October, wondering how all those weeks got away from you. Sep 24th, 2013

Rhode Island Weekly Fishing Report

It’s Prime Time For Makos! The early-week cold snap rung my bell—jarred my sense of time back into order, reminded me that fall is here. If the air temps on, say, Tuesday night didn’t get the point across, then the fact that it is once again full-dark by 8 p.m. drove it all home. Sep 20th, 2013

Bottom (Fishing) of the Ninth

I love and respect striped bass. I enjoy the challenge of getting them to eat plugs in boiling inlet currents long after the rest of the civilized world has hit the rack. I love the unmistakable freight-train run of a 40-pounder a nanosecond after I’ve buried the barb of an octopus hook in her oversized jaw hinge. I love snapping jigs on wire, love diamond-jigging them in the North Rip, love slinging huge snakes into the shoreline stones along the Newport oceanfront or the endless reefs and rockpiles and whitewater off Little Compton. I think I have a pretty good personal handle on why so many folks devote so many hours to their pursuit.Sep 1st, 2013

Ocean State Cod

A theme you may have noticed in this month’s issue of Coastal Angler is that August is truly a multi-species month. Fluke was the fish of the moment last month, particularly with the great tournaments going on throughout the Ocean State, and now striped bass seems to be is on the hit parade. But as the savvy angler knows, August is the month of surprises. And to our surprise, we hear that cod, usually fished in fall and winter, are chipping off the Block right now--literally, off the coast of Block Island. Say what? Maybe stripers or summer flounder, but cod?Sep 1st, 2013

State of the Striper: Dark Days Ahead?

After an intense two-hour pick of stripers, 30 inches to 38 pounds, during which we ran three wires and had at least one fish on at all times, I’m grateful for the certainty that even the craziest tide boils itself slack eventually. Now, our six guys are trying to poke holes in some sea bass, but it’s been slow so far. I remove my oilers and shed the sodden sweatshirt I couldn’t find an idle minute to take off during the bite, then head for the freshwater wash-down hose to rinse the opaque sheen of slime, salt, and blood spatter off my polarized shades—my Stevie Wondervision Pro Series. The routine’s almost automatic at this point in the season.Sep 1st, 2013

The Fact and Fiction of Fall Chartering

For some years not all that long ago—from 1995 through, say, 2000—most of the Ocean State charterboat fleet was booking striper trips almost exclusively from the crack of the starting pistol in May through the last gasp of migratory action, usually sometime in mid- to late-November. But as striper stocks have begun to constrict at an accelerating rate, in overall abundance, geographic distribution, and, in more recent years, migratory patterns, captains who used to jam the fish right through autumn. Some aspects of Ocean State striper fishing have remained more or less constant over the last decade, while others have shifted so dramatically that you’d be hard-pressed to call recent striper behaviors “patterns” at all.Sep 1st, 2013

Fish Focus: Spread the word!

August. The word, when it first appears on the face of the calendar or beneath the date column in my inbox, triggers something like a panic. It’s not really dread or regret—just a sudden and overwhelming awareness of the speed at which sand dumps into the lower half of the hourglass. It’s like being 23, the world and you all full of promise and potential. And then you’re 35, no longer on the verge of becoming. You are what you are—hell, you have been for years.Aug 1st, 2013

Best-Laid Plans

As much as the whole chartering occupation feels like a dream job to many who haven’t made that set of ill-advised career choices, make no mistake: It takes an unusual combination of personal traits, an uncommon work ethic, and an almost bottomless reserve of patience to make a go of it. It takes much more than that to do the job at the highest levels of the sport. I will concede that when the weather’s perfect, the fishing is so good a total moron could sink the boat with stripers, and the people are world’s nicest, it doesn’t necessarily feel much like work. So for about an eighth of a typical season, charter fishing is a dream job. The rest of the time it feels remarkably like…well…work.Aug 1st, 2013

To Our Readers

So much has happened with your Coastal Angler Magazine Rhode Island in the few months since our last column. Circulation is booming. We heard from Capt. Chris Hobe at Fish the World on Block Island that his copies went in 4 days! The CAM RI Facebook page has also exploded with more than 3200 likes. Captains and anglers alike are sending us eye- popping photos and video through the FB page for publication in print, the FB pages in both Long Island and Rhode Island, and the CAM website. They're comparing notes and catches. The FB page is being taken over by you, which is the point. Aug 1st, 2013

Solving the Summer Slump: August Options

The conventional wisdom says that August marks a transition in inshore fishing from the relative ease of June-July patterns to a period of tough picking as sustained high heat raises water temps to a relative boil, and local fluke, striped bass and other staple species become skittish, lethargic. There’s some truth to all this, but I’ve always maintained that “August Doldrums” theory relates more to our tendency to project human qualities on aquatic neighbors than it does to piscatorial reality.Aug 1st, 2013